Interview: Highland Park Brewery co-founder Bob Kunz

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Craft Beer Los Angeles

Photo courtesy of Bob Kunz


Where do you see the Los Angeles beer scene in five years, and how do you fit into that vision?

Have you seen how many people live in LA? It’s insane!! So much room for growth! My hopeful vision for L.A. is for more modest size breweries that really care about the beer they make opening in communities that they care about. I think that type of growth and approach leads to a more stable craft beer scene.

How do I fit into that vision? Well, I think by trying to be thoughtful and genuine in regards to the beer HPB makes and sells. I think a genuine passion for something you care about is a contagious thing.

What’s an aspect of craft beer culture or another city that you would like to see more of in Los Angeles?

Almost any other city you go to there are a multitude of brewpubs smack dab in the middle of neighborhoods. This is pretty much nonexistent in Los Angeles. I want it to exist here! Fresh beer that small communities get to call their own. That really would be a fantastic thing in L.A.!

Is there a brewery or beer that you can’t get in Los Angeles that you would like to see?

Josh Pfriem, one of my best friends (we once shared a room we called the matchbox… imagine two dudes in sleeping bags on the floor surrounded by fermenting beer) opened a brewery in Hood River called Pfriem Family Brewers. The beer is great and is only going to continue to get better. It would be pretty awesome to get to taste and experience it’s development.

Who are some other people in the craft beer community that you look to for inspiration, guidance or advice?

Man, I’ve been blessed with so many awesome friends in craft beer…

Mark Jilg from Craftsman has always felt like a mentor to me. Every conversation I have with him I’m left with about 20 more questions for the next interaction. He really lives and breathes his craft. Beer genuinely appears to be an emotional experience for him, which is inspiring.

I’ve constantly leaned on so many people for the trillion of facets that go into opening a brewery… Josh from Pfriem Family Brewers, Evan [Price] from Noble Ale Works, Lee Chase at Automatic Brewing, Jeremy [Raub] at Eagle Rock, Tony [Yanow] from Golden Road, actually now that I think of it, I don’t think there’s a single brewery in L.A. County that hasn’t helped me in some form or another. It’s awesome!

What will it take for you to consider Highland Park Brewery a success?

Well, fantastic beer of course!! That is absolutely goal #1!! Other than that my goals are probably pretty modest, really if I can make a livelihood brewing beer to support my family and be proud of the beer I’m making, I’d consider that success.

When people hear the name Bob Kunz, what do you want them to think?

Genuine, honest, creative, and hopefully someone with good sensibility, especially when it comes to beer 🙂

Address: 5127 York Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90042

Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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Great beer!

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